Novel Pre-Production

Titles, Characters, and Old Demons

Trilogy’s Title

In my last post, I laid out the titles for the books making up my first planned trilogy. You may recall that they were:

  1. Divinity Falling
  2. Olympia Dreaming
  3. Founders’ Rising

I proudly announced that the trilogy’s title would be The Fall of Caerleon.

My daughter, who is herself a published writer*, read that once, frowned, and asked why the titles were non-parallel. Sigh. She didn’t buy my explanation that Auto Correct was the culprit.

So, I am now re-announcing the trilogy’s title. It’s:

Caerleon Falling.


My favorite part of writing a novel is building the characters and the world. It’s the point at which the fictional universe has the maximum potential. Anything can happen; anyone could be in the story.

Unfortunately, no matter what I do, moving from potential to actual disappoints me, because the finished product never looks like what I thought I could envision. This Facebook post from Writing about Writing is a perfect illustration:

I fully intend for Caerleon Falling, taken as a whole, to be “so amaze” with “much magic.” “Much adventurer,” too.

So far, I’ve sketched the seven critical characters. I may add another one or two, but I’m not good enough yet to handle too many at once. I’m using an idea I got from Sterling & Stone: I’ve associated an actor with each character. That helps me visualize the character’s physical appearance. I’ve pasted the actors’ pictures in my Scrivener documents that describe the characters. Part of me feels like that’s cheating; another part feels like I’m using good advice from a trusted source!

Sometimes my degree in theology manifests itself in unproductive ways.

Old Demons

I can sit down and write code without a second thought. I can write business documents without flinching. I can even write blog posts without undue panic.**

Why is it, then, when I sit down to write Divinity Falling, I feel like all sentients across all times in all universes are peering over my shoulder to point and laugh?

It’s the same thing I fought when I was a young ‘un.

But no matter how I articulate the problem; no matter how clearly I can describe it; no matter how tired I say I am or how overworked I feel; there’s one answer.


Don’t read about writing.

Don’t think about why I’m not writing.

Don’t complain about (insert my “Gripe of the Moment” here).


Then write some more.

Read from time to time.

Then write.

So, I’d better get back to it!

If you’re so inclined, leave a comment to answer: Do you ever get the same kind of feeling? Do you even experience writer’s insecurity? Or — gasp! — am I all alone in this?***


* If you’re interested, you can read her short story in the anthology Triskaidekan. Her story’s called “XIII.” You can buy the book here from Amazon (disclaimer: I’m an Amazon Associate).

** You might not be able to tell it by the dearth of content here. My excuse? My full time job takes a lot of my time. My other blogs, like Crow’s World of Anime and my application developer security site Interstell, Inc. also demand some of my time. Still, that’s no excuse. Must. Write. More.

*** Too many of my writer friends have expressed similar misgivings for me to really think I’m alone. But then, none of us have major or best sellers under our belts! So I’m not sure we’re the best sampling.